This naturally diminutive sheep with soft wool is perfect for the hobby farm, a spinner's flock, a 4-H project, or simply as a fun pet who can organically mow the grass while fertilizing at the same time. Babydoll fibers tend to grab, rather than slip past each other. … Both “wool blindness” and woolly tear ducts are discriminated against. (Many people like to place a weight on their skeins as they dry, but I feel that causes the yarn to stretch, which may cause distortion in the final piece when it is washed for the first time after knitting. Southdown is a soft fiber with a micron count of 23-29 and as low as 19 on some Babydoll flocks. As I tug the fiber apart between by two hands, the thicker areas will be drawn out and made smaller, and the twist will enter them too. Side Note:  My spinning method is very different than what most other people use, but it feels right for my hands and gives me the results I want with Babydoll Southdown fiber. Closeup of the knitting after washing. Sheep 17-18″ or 24-26″ are discriminated against, but can be useful in a well thought out breeding program. Sometimes this color will fade to lighter shades of gray as the sheep ages, but it is still considered a black sheep. It is short (about 2 to 3 inches) and springy, soft and bouncy, with a surprisingly strong underlying disposition. The outer fleece on a black sheep may become sun bleached to a light reddish brown, but the sheep is still considered to be black. Progress made. The muzzle and legs of a black sheep should always be black. Sometimes I use other fibers and yarns, but the wool from our sheep is my favorite. Our Huacaya (pronounced "Wuh-kai-ya") and Suri Alpacas are breathtaking. 2013 – A Large Flock – Join The Experience. Most old-type Southdowns – by this we mean the off-white Babydoll Southdowns – are evaluated as having wool that is 1/2 to 3/8 blood. I want the yarn to remain very stable.). Fortunately, during the past few years more spinners are starting to rediscover this lost treasure. Next, I soak the skein and allow it to dry. To do this, I simply lay the fiber against the yarn, and while I treadle the twist will enter it too. You may hear (as I did when I first started spinning) that “Babydoll fiber is no good” or “they are a meat breed, not a fiber breed.” Nothing could be farther from the truth! That is how I wind the yarn for sale in my Etsy shop. Rump: The rump should be wide, of medium length, and relatively flat. Fleece should be fine, tight and dense with medium to medium-fine crimp that is soft and springy. Extremely broad heads are considered a fault and discriminated against. The muzzle of a black sheep often get scattered gray hairs as they age. Roving Batts Fleece and Long Locks Shop Fiber Couture. Babydoll Southdown wool is simply a.To prepare it for spinning, I pull off a section from a batt or roving about 9 inches long.Then it is divided lengthwise into many sections, by pulling apart from the middle. They are smaller than many sheep breeds and have delightful personalities. Closeup of the knitting before washing. Shoulders: The shoulders should be well muscled and flow smoothly into the ribs. Speckles are common and are acceptable but solid colors are preferred. The Southdown was probably imported to North America in the 1700s, though the first documented importation occurred in 1803, with sheep brought into New York and Massachusetts. When the strand becomes even throughout and I am pleased with its appearance, I let the wheel draw in the strand and it winds on the bobbin. Babydoll Southdowns, which grow a wool that's on the fine side for the Down breeds (ballpark 23-31 microns and 3 inches/7.5cm). (If this step is done too quickly, the fiber will pull apart.) The thumb and finger from my left hand is closer to the wheel and intermittently grasps, tugs, lets loose (so twist can enter again), grasps, tugs, lets loose, etc. They are also prized for their wool. It is a medium weight, shorter wool with a staple length between 1.5-3 inches and a fiber width between 23-30 microns. Bright solid pink nose and lips, as are those without any pigmentation (pale white), are both breed disqualifications and the sheep cannot be registered. So before knitting or crocheting, it works best to have it wound as a center-pull cake. 0: 0: No posts have been made on this board. Typically the off-white wool is more valuable because it can be dyed any color. Born with pink noses and coloring will spinning babydoll southdown wool with time, experimentation, and while I treadle the will! & Lips: the ribs by their cuddly looks naturally not prized for spinning yet, most! 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